“Exciting as an entertainment, jaw-dropping as a romantic superhero film, but underwhelming as an action film.”
“I’m Spider-Man. You can call me The Web-Man or The Amazing, but don’t call me late for dinner,” said Spider-Man to Aleksei Sytsevich.
Thanks to the indie-gem director, Marc Webb, who also directs the enchanting (500) Days of Summer—for making our friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man more comical and more sentimental. Webb, a turncloak for fans of Raimi’s Spider-Man, has brought back our hero to its nature of being clumsy and nerdy Peter Parker, also being finicky, fussy Spidey. Exceedingly, he matches our Peter Parker, not to the love of his life, Mary Jane Watson, but rather to his first love, Gwen Stacy. As we seek out Spidey’s titular origins, we already know that The Amazing Spider-Man is simply the fastest and the biggest reboot ever made.
The sequel of the 2012 reboot marks Webb’s comeback to the director’s chair and merely uses the similar formula with some intensification in some parts. As this film kicks off with a flashback of the shadow behind Peter’s parent and the past of Oscorp, it has already highlighted one of the main points of this sequel: a shade of whodunit in investigating Peter’s past. However, we still have many interrelated points wrapped up in this film.
Not only the quest of his background, this sequel also relies on the relationship of Peter and Gwen. As we know, in The Amazing Spider-Man, Peter has already vowed to Gwen’s father, but he breaks it as both of them are inseparable. In this sequel, this device is intensified—making us seeing a little more romantic yet sentimental moment of them. Kudos to Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone whose chemistry amplifies this part fabulously. The thing is, people know who Peter’s eventual lover is and she is not Gwen; morevoer, rumour has it that pictures of Shaylene Woodley portraying Mary Jane was already cut off from the earlier draft. So, does it lead to something? Spoiler detected.
Aside from the Peter’s playing detective and Peter’s playing lover, the real arc of this sequel, indeed, is the rise of Electro, one of Spidey’s most sinister enemy. But that’s not it, Peter also encounters his old friend-turn-foe, Harry Osborn, with his Green Goblin. Jamie Foxx and Dane DeHaan play their roles well prior to the transformation of their characters into villains. Foxx, as an Oscorp worker and Spidey’s ultimate fan, is adorable; his over-the-top insecurity is serviceable prioring to his transformation into Electro who seeks for every attention. DeHaan surprisingly throws off James Franco’s charm as the previous Harry and rather emanates a new persona of ambitious, recognition-laden Harry. Paul Giamatti also appears as Aleksei, a Russian crime and a soon-to-be Rhino.
The villain story arc tends to be usual—sometimes it appears stilted and predictable. Nevertheless, this arc is more structured compared to Raimi’s SpiderMan 3 that also works with three villains, but ends up ruining the whole film. Each villain in TASM 2 is given specific, interrelated motive, therefore, their lunge is manageable. Electro’s arc is dominant and develops smoothly; yet, Goblin’s arc is more straightforward and seems a little rushy—luckily, it sustains Electro’s arc satisfyingly. Rhino’s arc is nothing but small “sticker” leading to the presence of Sinister Six in the future.
How the film is executed also presents nothing new. As a superhero film, the action and the destruction is conventional—with explosions and slo-mo action. However, Spidey’s battle with Electro is always astonishing—adorned with Spidey’s sense of humour and offbeat electonic score by Hans Zimmer and The Magnificent Six. Compared to its romance/drama pack, the action pack is underwhelming.
The Amazing Spider-Man is exciting as an entertainment, jaw-dropping as a romantic superhero film, but underwhelming as an action film. It serves helluva fun and melancholy at the same time, therefore it has already opened the summer blockbuster season.
The Amazing Spider-Man (2014)
Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Drama, Adaptation, Running Time: 142 Mins Directed by: Marc Webb, Written by: Alex Kurtzman, Robert Orci, Jeff Pinker, James Vanderbilt (screenplay), Stan Lee, Steve Ditko (comic) Starred by: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Paul Giamatti, Colm Feore, Felicity Jones, Sally Field
TRIVIA: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 also introduces Sinister Six. What is it? Click here for some clue. Green Goblin and Rhino have their on-screen introduction; however, in Oscorp secret facility, Dr. Ock‘s tentacles and Vulture‘s. FYI, Harry’s assistance, Felicia (portrayed by Felicity Jones) is possibly a part of it. She’s also known as a villain named Black Cat.
TRIVIA: JLaw’s Mystique and her Brotherhood of Evil Mutant from X-Men hijack the credit scene of TASM2 with a short scene during the ending.
TRIVIA: Philip Philips, whose song “Gone, Gone, Gone” played in the movie, is the winner of the 2012 American Idol.